Beat Break: Syk Sense Shares The Story Behind His 5 Biggest Songs
Beat Break is a new series in which we interview our favorite producers about five of their biggest songs—what inspired the beat, how the collaboration came about and the impact the record has had on their career. Really, it’s just an excuse to get nerdy about production with some talented people.
For the inaugural edition of Beat Break, we chopped it up with one of the best new producers around, Syk Sense. The name may not ring as loud as, say, Mike WiLL or Metro Boomin (yet), but his work speaks for itself. Over the last few years, the Nashville, TN native has quietly built up an impressive resume, combining his speaker-slapping sound and ear for samples into songs for Drake, Travis Scott, BrysonTiller, 6LACK, Khalid and many more.
Like any good come-up story, there are years of perseverance that precede those production credits, though. In 2010, after three failed attempts, Syk finally made it to the final of a local beat battle in his hometown of Nashville. He didn’t win, but he came away with an arguably better prize: a deal with Boi-1da, who was judging the battle. “He would let me know like, ‘bro, you can be the best. You just gotta keep going, ‘cause I hear something in your sound,’” he says.
Syk’s dedication, and Boi-1da’s faith in him, eventually paid off in 2014 when he co-produced Drake’s “Draft Day.” Since then, Syk has placed beats on major projects like Travis Scott’s Days Before Rodeo, Drake’s If You’re Reading This, It’s Too Late and Bryson Tiller’s T R A P S O U L. In 2016, Syk scored his highest-charting single to date, thanks to Texas newcomer Khalid’s “Location,” which he produced with Tunji Ige and Smash David.
Looking ahead, Syk Sense says we can expect collaborations with ChrisBrown and BrysonTiller, as well as a possible song with—drum roll, please—Kendrick Lamar. “Me and my homie Axlfolie were making this beat out of Khalid’s voice and it just turned into a Kendrick vibe. We sent it off to him and he was like, ‘yo, I want this,’” Syk explains, but adds cautiously, “I don’t want to jinx it.” Neither do we.
Here are the stories behind five of Syk Sense’s biggest songs.